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Thinking online?

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking about thinking…. and how/where I do my best thinking. I work online – I design eLearning on virtual teams for clients that are often in another country. I share, connect, collaborate, engage, and discuss online for my work everyday. And I like it.

But I think on paper. If I had my way, I’d think on a giant whiteboard the size of my cubicle, but I don’t think IBM will pay for it 🙂

That’s my dirty little secret. I think on paper. I use a blue (or black in a pinch) and a red pen and I draw lines, circles, words, etc. I underline for emphasis and I put a star next to points that are really important. It’s a simple system. It’s a flexible system. And I keep it a secret for the most part.

When my thought process is done I might write up the results in bullet points or in a presentation and post it online.

I’ve tried mindmaps. I’ve tried Visio. I’ve tried all the office suite products to document my ideas during a thinking session. But ultimately it comes down to my little black book and two pens.

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Categories: visual thinking Tags: , ,

Picture this….

I can’t draw. I blame my parents – my sister got the art genes and I got the math genes. It never really bothered me until I started becoming more involved with the visual aspects of the courses I design.

When I struggle to represent my ideas visually, how can I expect an artist to interpret my words correctly? I can’t.

So I’m exploring how to use my mastery of the stick figure to enhance the visual representation of my ideas. I started with David Armano’s Thinking Visually SlideShare.

I pulled two things from this presentation that made a difference to me:

1. See the world as a child – I’m reading this to mean simplify the visual to represent the idea, not to be an explicit, complete thought. I tend to get caught up in the details of a picture I’m trying to create, rather than looking at the concept.

2. Make it tangible, make it stick – it’s not enough for it to be pretty. It has to be relevant to the audience and memorable for the audience… huh… very much like learning does.

hello epiphany